Ash can’t wait to play Party at the Palace

Picture: Michael Gillen
Picture: Michael Gillen

One of the top acts at this summer’s Party in the Palace music festival has said they can’t wait to get started.

Northern Irish alternative rock band Ash will play on Saturday, August 12 at Linlithgow’s music bash.

The band made up of Tim Wheeler (vocalist/guitarist), Mark Hamilton (bassist) and Rick McMurray (drummer) have been together for 25 years and have been working hard on a new album which they hope to release early next year.

Their UK tour starts this summer and bassist Mark says they are relishing coming to Linlithgow and playing in front of a packed out audience.

He said: “We love to play to different crowds and enjoy playing everywhere. We’re from Northern Ireland and there are a lot of cultural links between us and Scotland – strong ties.

“We’re looking forward to Party at the Palace and coming to Scotland to play. It feels like home we always fly to Edinburgh and Glasgow and we have done shows in Aberdeen and always aim to have a fun time.

“Hopefully we’ll have time if we get there early enough to go for walks and see what is going on. That’s what we did when we played Rockness a few years ago.”

The band had chart successes with Girl From Mars, Shining Light and Burn Baby Burn, with Shining Light winning Best Contemporary Song at the Ivor Novello music awards in 2001.

Their album Free All Angels released shortly after Shining Light in 2001 was number one in the UK charts. The band have had six albums with their last one Kablammo coming in 2015. So what can music fans expect from the band at PATP?

Mark said: “We always play a good mix of songs at festivals not necessarily the ones you would play for the hardcore fans. It has to be recognisable to casual music fans. We like to keep it fun and enjoyable and play some hits.”

The band have matured since they made their debut album 1977 as fresh faced teenagers in 1996 before touring the world. Now 21 years on they have the juggling act of family and their second ‘family’ – the band.

“It can be quite challenging at times,” Mark admits. “When you have kids your priorities change – I’ve got a three-year old and eight-year old – but you still have the band and it’s like a second family.

“We’re all very close when we are on tour and travelling together for so long they are essentially your brothers for the past 25 years.

“It’s a juggling act, you’re away for long periods of time and have to make sacrifices but it’s hard for the family too.”

Meanwhile, organisers have confirmed that Gok Wan, who did a DJ set last year, has been added to the Saturday afternoon fun.